Secret Sales: 4,000% month-on-month revenue growth
Online fashion marketplace Secret Sales has seen its month-on-month revenue increase by 4,000 during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the outbreak, the UK company transformed from a flash sales outlet into a premium ecommerce marketplace.
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Secret Sales was founded in 2007 by brothers Nish and Sach Kukadia. In August 2019, Lifestyle Retail Group bought the company and immediately announced plans to transform its business model. But due to unexpected economic conditions, there was not enough money to set up the transition. In March last year, the website carried out a pre-pack administration to enable its transition to a marketplace model.
In an interview with Drapers, co-owners Chris Griffin and Matt Purt explain what changed exactly. “The previous business model saw products manually listed from different suppliers and presented as a timed seven-day flash sale, where we pre-sold goods to consumers prior to purchasing them directly from suppliers on a wholesale basis”, Griffin explains.
This led to delivery taking three to four weeks on average, compressed margins, double handling, and, according to Griffin, a poor customer experience.
Locked members-only experience
The flash sales concept also means there’s no open ecommerce website. Instead, it offers users a locked members-only experience where they need to register to be able to browse items. “The website itself was not an ecommerce platform, but a series of timed ads to buy products that were available for 7 days, meaning there were limited search and navigation functions compared to a regular online retail website.”
There was no open ecommerce website.
Advanced marketplace platform
After the relaunch in March 2020, the website was turned into an advanced online marketplace platform. “Secret Sales today no longer operates in the antiquated flash sales space. It’s now a leading UK online platform for discounted fashion, sportswear, and beauty products. The business enables brands and retailers to connect directly via technical feeds to list products live on the platform, giving them full control over all aspects including selling price, margins, copy, content, and images.”
18 million visitors since relaunch
Over 450 brands, retailers, and multi-brand companies have now partnered with Secret Sales to sell surplus inventory. Ever since it launches as an online marketplace, the website welcomed over 18 million unique visitors.